A pocket diaper doesn’t work without an insert. Depending on the insert, you could have a very trim diaper or a big bubble butt. Inserts are extremely easy to make, but for those who are sewing-challenged (I’m raising my hand) there are dozens of choices.
I have divided the different inserts by the material they are made from. Hemp is the most absorbent fiber but it does have a tendency to get the stinkies. I think that has more to do with improper washing. Microfiber is manmade yet highly absorbent. Cotton is natural but is not that absorbent. Bamboo is highly absorbent and natural and super soft! I go into detail about each of these fibers in the Ultimate Guide to Cloth Diapers.
Hemp: *Joey-bunz: These are either six layers of absorbent hemp/cotton jersey. I whole-heartedly agree with this statement on the Babykicks website: “Joey-Bunz are better than inserts made from man-made micro fibers because hemp is a natural product, grown without pesticides and not bleached, which is very harmful to the environment. Hemp also protects your baby because it is naturally anti-microbial.” Natural is always better.
*Berry Plush Hemp Inserts/Prefolds: These are made of either two or three layers of ORGANIC 55% Hemp/45% Cotton Fleece-so depending *on how you fold it-you could have up to 9 layers!
*Happy Heiny Stuffins InsertThey feature a pocket design that allows you to add extra absorbency where your baby needs it without increasing the bulk of your pocket diaper. For boys, place the oval all the way to the front of the Stuffin. For girls, place the oval in the center. When used with the small oval insert (included) you will have 7 layers of hemp fleece in the desired wet zone for your child.
*Green Acre Designs: They are sewn with an open loop design to give 4 overall layers and 8 in the wet zone. GAD inserts are made with 55% naturally grown hemp and 45% organic cotton French Terry
*Babykicks Hemp Prefolds : Nothing absorbs like hemp fleece! Made from 2-3-2 layers of luxuriously soft 55% hemp/45% cotton fleece. I would go with the size small to ensure a good fit in all your diapers. Prefolds can be folded in thirds vertically or horizontally (for absorbency in the middle).
*Swaddlebees Hemp Insert: A five layer hemp French terry quick-dry insert designed specifically to fit the unique contour of Swaddlebees pocket diapers. Although it is made to be a perfect fit for Swaddlebees diapers they will still work in any pocket diaper.
Hemp/Microfiber: *Blueberry One Size Hemp/Microfiber Insert: Three layers of microfiber terry attached to 3 more layers of organic cotton/hemp fleece. The link shows you in pictures how to fold this one sized insert according to your needs.
*Loopy-Do Prewashed Inserts
Microfiber:*Cotton Babies Microfiber Doublers
Happy Heinys, Swaddlebees and Thirsties (many others as well) also make microfiber inserts. These are easy to make even if you don’t have a serger. Microfiber towels can be purchased in the auto section of most stores. I have found Costcos towels to be highly absorbent and long lasting. Towels you find at the check out line in Walmart and Dollar General become stiff over time.
Once you have the towels you can either fold it up and stuff the pocket or you can customize them to create a better fit for your pockets. Measure the length of your pocket then mark that length on the microfiber towel. Fold the towel in thirds and trim to the desired length. Make a straight stitch along the edges. Because they are going to be inside a pocket I don’t bother with a hidden edge. This rough pattern doesn’t make a pretty insert but it will be absorbent. You can combine a piece of flanner or velour and hide the seam to make this insert more attractive.
Bamboo: *Leslie’s Boutique Custom Bamboo inserts. I just saw this morning that she is now making these! I have been looking for bamboo inserts to buy because of the trimness and absorbency bamboo offers.
*Cottontail Baby Bamboo Pocket Diaper Inserts:These pocket inserts are made from 4 layers of a very soft, very absorbent bamboo terry fabric. Fabric is 91% bamboo 9% elasthane.
Cotton: *Infant Prefolds: Prefolds are a must have with pocket diapers. By wrapping a prefold around any of the above inserts you have a night-worthy diaper. Prefolds do add more bulk to the diaper. If you were using these during the day finding pants to fit over the diaper might be a bit more challenging.
*Thirsties Doublers: 3 layers of cotton velour
If I have left off your favorite insert please let me know! My favorite was made by a local mom a couple of years ago. They are getting really ratty but I can’t part with them! They are flannel, microfiber, and microfleece sandwiched together. I have never had a leak when I use them.